Proteins from Nuts, Seeds Are Heart-Healthy (But Proteins from Meat Are Not)

Researchers in California and France want to remind us that not all protein is created equal (at least when considering the nutrition of the entire protein-filled food). They say that meat protein is associated with a significantly increased risk of heart disease, while proteins from nuts and seeds are heart-healthy. [1]

Published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the study found that people who eat large quantities of meat protein had a 60% risk increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD). By comparison, people who consumed large amounts of protein from nuts and seeds experienced a 40% reduction in CVD risk.

Gary Fraser, MB ChB, PhD, from Loma Linda University, and François Mariotti, PhD, from AgroParisTech and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, said:

“While dietary fats are part of the story in affecting risk of cardiovascular disease, proteins may have important and largely overlooked independent effects on risk.”

Fraser said that he and his colleagues have long suspected that red meat increases the risk of CVD, while adding more nuts and seeds to your diet protects against it. [2]

The researcher hopes that the findings will lead to further research into the way certain amino acids found in animal proteins boost the risk of heart disease, as well as more research into the relevance of blood pressure, blood lipids, and weight.

Additionally, the study found that eating more refined grains, sugary foods and starchy foods like potatoes, may promote poor heart health. These foods tend to dominate many vegetarian diets.

Lead author Dr. Ambika Satija wrote:

“It is apparent that there is a wide variation in the nutritional quality of plant foods, making it crucial to take into consideration the quality of foods in a plant-based diet.”

Reducing meat consumption has long been associated with better cardiovascular health. For example, eating animal products has been shown to increase the risk of blood clots that lead to heart attack and stroke. And back in 2013, Harvard researchers wrote that reducing meat consumption could extend your life by up to 20%.

Though one 2016 study found that eating more plant-based foods offsets the dangers of eating meat. Cool, right?


[1] Science Daily

[2] Independent

Missouri Law Protects Buyers from Unknowingly Purchasing ‘Fake Meat’

On July 28, 2018, a bill went into effect in Missouri that prohibits companies from “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.” [1]

The bill, introduced in May, protects buyers from unwittingly purchasing plant-based products marketed as meat. The law applies to meat substitutes, such as soy-based and plant-based meat, as well as “clean” meat grown in the lab that is close to hitting the market.

Companies that violate the law face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

The issue, however, is far from over.

Four organizations – Tofurky, the Good Food Institute, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri (ACLUM), and the Animal Legal Defense Fund – have already sued the state, seeking an injunction to block the law from being enforced. Both sides claim they’re trying to do what is best for buyers who want to know the precise ingredients that go into their meat. [2]

Namely, is it really meat?

Source: Daily Mail

The groups accuse the state of stifling competition from producers in the plant-based protein industry.

Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said in a statement: [1]

“As more and more consumers are making the conscious choice to remove animals from their plates, Missouri is putting its thumb on the scale to unfairly benefit the meat industry and silence alternative producers. This law violates various constitutional principles, including free speech – which should be a concern for everyone, regardless of diet.”

Read: 5 Benefits of Reducing Red Meat Consumption

In a statement, the office of Missouri’s attorney general said that “it would seek to defend the constitutionality of state statutes.” [2]

Products like veggie burgers are nothing new, but the products’ growing popularity has triggered a fierce debate over how they should be identified. [1]

Meat-substitute advocates say that meat-substitute producers follow U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules governing the way food products are represented.

The law has technically gone into effect, and the state is ready to enforce it, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office said.

Spokeswoman Mary Compton said:

“The attorney general’s office will carefully review all referrals from the Department of Agriculture and will take legal action as appropriate under the circumstances to protect Missouri consumers.”


[1] CNN

[2] The New York Times

Daily Mail